Kevin Richardson’s unique relationship with some of Africa’s apex predators have opened many doors and captivated the imagination of many people throughout the world. He has presented and produced several documentaries that detail his relationships with the animals and highlight the plight of lions both in captivity and in the wild.

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Once again South Africa fails. Currently, there are 9,000-12,000 lions in captivity in South Africa, living in approximately 300 facilities for a number of commercial purposes, including canned hunting, breeding and the lion bone trade.

In a shocking reversal of the overwhelming condemnation of CLB (captive lions breeding) expressed during the August Colloquium by a vast array of conservation and welfare experts and strongly supported in the PCEA (Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs) report thereon, DEA merely reiterated the same tired justifications for breeding as if the Colloquium had never taken place.

During last week’s meeting, DEA reported that of the 227 breeding facilities inspected in the Free State, Limpopo, North West and Eastern Cape, nearly 40% (88 facilities) were non-compliant with, among others, the Threatened or Protected Species (TOPS) Regulations.

In the Free State of the 111 facilities inspected, 62 were found to be in non-compliance with TOPS Regulations. Most facilities were also found to be operating with expired permits.

ALL PERMITS WERE RENEWED WITHOUT PROVIDING ANY REASON FOR RENEWAL!!

DEA further reported (incorrectly) that activities involving petting and walking with big cats are not allowed in the Free State and Western Cape, and therefore no permits were issued to facilities which conduct and support such activities. However, there are many facilities in both provinces that offer these exploitative activities to thousands of tourists and volunteers.

DEA inspectors are not trained to carry out welfare inspections. The NSPCA is the sole organisation mandated to carry out welfare inspections however neither the NSPCA nor PCEA has been able to obtain a full list of captive lion breeding facilities from DEA.

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That moment when Charlie realized his roar was loud enough to talk back to the big boys!
Video Credit Jean Antix

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